Well-known process automation and control specialist, ABM Limited has developed a Clean in Place (CIP) system for Daniel Thwaites’ Star Brewery in Blackburn, Lancashire.
The new system provides greater plant flexibility and has achieved a CIP capacity expansion and a reduction in overall downtime due to the improved plant efficiency.
This new CIP system was developed in conjunction with Thwaites’ personnel who are delighted with the results.
For some time, Thwaites had been faced with limitations in its existing BBT/Packaging Area CIP systems, which resulted in significant caustic losses as well as packaging capacity constraints due to time-consuming CIP delays and mechanical breakdowns.
Consequently they approached ABM for help.
ABM were asked to look at how the plant CIP systems could be redesigned to achieve a number of agreed aims:
- Provide greater CIP flexibility than the current system.
- Reduce process delays due to CIP problems.
- Reduce costs – the existing CIP units were ” Single Use, Total Loss” Systems with the caustic going to drain after each CIP, with the additional environmental implications.
- Provide an Acid clean facility for all vessels.
- Increase automation and reduce operator input by removing swing bend stations, etc.
- Modify CIP and Process Routes to improve overall cleaning efficiency.
- Provide Graphics and Recipes via an existing Scada station.
- Improve alarm reporting to minimise downtime.
- Provide a facility to collect the CIP cycle information for management reporting purposes
As Chris Lindsay, Commercial Director of ABM explained: “When we looked at the existing CIP system we realised that by introducing a new multi-channel approach to CIP, we could provide both Acid and Caustic cleaning facilities, with a capability to recover the chemicals.
The brief we gave our systems design team was quite a challenge; how to achieve all of the above aims, install the new system with minimum downtime and achieve all this within Thwaites’ Capital Budget.
ABM’s approach required a departure from the existing dial-a-pipe system.
They introduced a new 3-Channel Recovery CIP Unit which provides both Acid and Caustic cleaning facilities as well as being designed to accommodate a 4th circuit in the future if required.
After carrying out a full site survey, it was decided that the new facility could only be housed within the area by converting two existing rooms into one fully refurbished room, including building a tiled bunded area to contain the actual unit.
Because of the lack of space and accessibility, the new unit had to be built ‘in situ’.
Thwaites asked ABM to assume full responsibility for managing the project as Principal Contractor and Planning Supervisor, including all Civil, Mechanical and Electrical engineering aspects of the work.
This required careful coordination of the conversion and installation timetable so that all preliminary installation work could be carried out with no interruptions to production.
The final changeover to the new system was carried out over a 3-day weekend from Friday morning to Sunday afternoon.
The new plant was fully on-line on programme with no process downtime, and all initial targets met.
Brian Hickman, Thwaites’ Production & Distribution Director added: “For some time we had been looking to upgrade our CIP system. ABM, working in conjunction with Thwaites personnel, came up with an excellent solution, which gave us a more flexible system which also allowed us to CIP several circuits simultaneously, thus reducing our waiting times. ABM managed the whole project very efficiently from start to finish with virtually no disruption to production and no unplanned downtime. I am and more importantly, our operators are very pleased with the results.”